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  • Mathew Morrell
    Oct 8, 2002
      > 04/10/02
      > A New Russian Meteorite?
      > On Thursday 3 October, residents of the village of Bodaibo in
      > the Irkutsk region of Siberia witnessed the fall of a large
      > glowing object from space. Witnesses saw a large fireball in
      > the sky, followed by a thunder-like sound, a flash of light,
      > and a small earth tremor.
      > Scientists from the Institute of Solar and Earth Physics of
      > the Russian Academy of Science suspect the object is a large
      > meteorite. It landed in the hills between the villages of
      > Bodaibo and Balakhninsky. Early reports suggest there were
      > no casualties or damage to property.
      > Siberia is no stranger to visiting rocks from space. Back in
      > 1908, a near earth object detonated in the atmosphere above
      > the Tunguska region, flattening 2000 square kilometres of
      > forest. More recently, in February 1947, a large iron
      > meteorite, estimated to weight 1000 tons, landed in the
      > Sikhote-Alin mountain range.
      > Around 30,000 meteorites of varying sizes fall to Earth each
      > year, but the vast majority fall in the oceans and deserts
      > that make up the majority of the Earth's surface. If pieces
      > of this new fall can be recovered, it may give scientists
      > valuable insights into the nature of these rocks, which are
      > remnants from the formation of our Solar System.
      > A group of scientists from the Institute of Solar and Earth
      > Physics is to head for the new fall-site as soon as possible.

      Astronomy magazine